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Community Engagement
Level 14
115 Grenfell Street
The University of Adelaide

Telephone: +61 8 8313 4468
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 6537

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Telephone: +61 8 8313 4467
Mobile: 0434 075 013

Urrbrae House Schools Program

Our free and unique interactive history program is designed to enable primary school students to step back into the recreated world of the 1890s.

Students are able to find out at through our unique interactive history program at Urrbrae House which today is an accredited museum and part of the University of Adelaide’s Community Engagement at the Waite Campus. 

Our program is designed to enable primary students in Years 4-6 to step back into the recreated world of the 1890s.  It is a great excursion option for a group of up to 30 students with costumed guides (who have police checks) taking students through a range of nineteenth century activities in the House.  

On the Day

On arrival at Urrbrae House students are divided into three smaller groups:  Guests of Mr and Mrs Waite, Household Servants or Schoolchildren to be instructed by the governess.

Each group is then taken through different activities befitting their nineteenth century status and given a tour of the House.  Each student is given a Victorian name and a piece of costume as they become a character in 1892.

Guests of the Waites experience a formal morning tea in the Dining Room and undertake leisure activities appropriate to ladies and gentlemen such as (depending on weather) croquet on the lawn, quoits, parlour games, dominoes, flower-pressing and sketching.

Household Servants take on the many manual tasks that were essential to the running of a large Victorian household such as preparing and serving food, doing laundry using washboards, cleaning silver, polishing boots, beating rugs and churning butter.

The Schoolchildren are taken through a school lesson by the governess that includes copperplate writing using inkwells and nib pens, and learning about Victorian values.

The students are also given the opportunity to play with reproductions of late nineteenth century toys such as porcelain dolls, china tea sets, wooden tops, marbles, quoits, jacks, and pick-up sticks.

Learning Outcomes

Guides encourage students to think about how life was lived over a century ago and discuss aspects of South Australian history during the course of activities.

At the end of the activity period the three sub-groups come together to share a game of “Signalman” in the Ballroom and discuss their experiences.


'My favourite bit was the morning tea and writing with the ink pens.
This was the best excursion I've been on'

Master Solomon, Black Forest Primary School

'We played Croquet, had a tour around the house, ate delicious food and dressed up in very lady like clothes. as soon as I stepped into the house I knew I was going to enjoy it from the very start...
I also wish I lived there!'
Miss Constance, Bellevue Heights Primary School

Frequently Asked Questions

The visit to Urrbrae House takes up to two and a half hours (plus travel time).

A school kit is available for teachers who book their class into the program - Please contact Amanda Jackson for details. 

There are no costs for a class to participate in the program beyond the cost of getting the students to and from Urrbrae House.

Due to the heritage nature of the House, there is only limited disabled access to the top floor of the building.

In 2010 the Interactive Schools Program will run on Wednesday mornings from March onwards during school term. 

For information and bookings contact Amanda Jackson, ph: 8313 7497 or email: Amanda Jackson

Waite Historic Precinct

 Urrbrae House

Urrbrae House

Waite Arboretum

Waite Arboretum

Waite Conservation Reserve

Waite Conservation Reserve
Yurrebilla trail